We’re lucky enough to have some businesses outside bringing simple and effective alternatives to make a change and hopefully, stop global waste.
Kempii is a fine example of a go-to website that is certainly helping people to be inspired by the 5 “Rs”rules to follow: refuse, reduce, reuse, recycle and rot.
I felt compelled to share their thoughts here to demystify the idea that reducing demands an effort. It doesn’t, and you know it! So, it’s time to get some valuable tips here.
Midlands Traveller: Tell me a little bit about your background in business.
Anne: We’re both total newbie entrepreneurs, so the learning curve on Kempii has been huge!
Our background is in banking, so we know about finance, but have learned everything from scratch – from social media marketing to SEO, legal policies, website design, coding, branding, and google analytics.
It’s been a huge amount of work but, since we’re such great friends – and doing something we’re passionate about – it doesn’t feel like it at all. 🙂
MT: When did you first start living an ethical + eco-friendly lifestyle?
A: We both come from Australia, where people seem to have a stronger connection with nature. But apart from that, we’re just regular London city-dwellers, not your traditional “Eco-warrior” types.
We cared about ethical and environmental issues, but we also had busy lives and couldn’t commit to making huge lifestyle changes. However, we found that just a few simple swaps did make a huge difference.
We aren’t the “mason jar of trash” zero-wasters, but we’ve definitely cut our waste by at least 80%! Imagine if everyone could do the same!
MT: How did you come up with the idea of a business like yours?
A: Having come some way on our journey to reduce waste, we wanted to help others too. People are afraid to commit to what seems like an extreme lifestyle – but it’s just a matter of finding out about the right “hacks” and products.
At the same time, we kept finding out about clever new products on Etsy or Kickstarter campaigns – like reusable Nespresso pods, shampoo bars, bamboo cutlery pouches, or indoor food composters.
Kempii can help connect these great new products with people who want to reduce waste. It would have been great to have a Kempii at the start of our journey!
MT: Tell me about Kempii’s mission and what products and services do you offer?
A: Our mission is to inspire as many people as possible to reduce their waste, by showing them how easy it is! Our website blog has a detailed, room-by-room guide to explain how to reduce waste, with links to all the products you’ll need.
At the moment, all our products link to Etsy and Amazon websites, but we’re looking to transition to a marketplace this year.
MT: What is unique about Kempii?
A: Kempii is for everyone – we didn’t want reducing waste to be only for those who can afford a luxury Eco-lifestyle. That’s why we’ve given so much advice on our website, so people can figure out what works for them.
We also know that most plastic pollution comes from the developing world – so we donate 10% of our profits to WasteAid UK, a charity that helps communities in developing countries with their waste infrastructure.
MT: What is your kind of clientele?
A: We would call them “aspirational zero wasters”. Ordinary people who can’t commit to huge lifestyle changes but would be happy to make a few sustainable swaps.
MT: What are the challenges of a business like yours?
A: It’s probably the same as any business: getting the word out to attract clients and finding the time to do everything we want to do!
MT: How is Kempii helping people to adapt themselves to a more sustainable lifestyle?
A: We try to give people all the information they need on our website, in the most light-hearted way possible, focusing on easy sustainable swaps, and encouragement rather than guilt-tripping.
We update our blog regularly to keep people up to date on newly discovered tips and products. We also send tips out on our social media community, especially on Instagram. It’s been great to see how excited people are when they discover a new tip!
MT: How do you choose the products and brands that are available on your website?
A: The concept is simple – all of the products will help reduce your waste impact (i.e. what you send to landfill). The way in which each product can reduce waste is explained in every product description.
They tend to fall into a few categories, like:
Reusables to replace disposables – A menstrual cup replaces 1000s of tampons, a stainless-steel bottle to replace plastic bottled water, reusable furoshiki wrap replaces gift wrapping, and an indoor herb rack to replace plastic bags of herbs.
Compostable/unpackaged to replace plastic packaging – Shampoo bars to replace shampoo bottles, paper straws to instead of plastic, paper washi tape instead of sticky tape.
Composting bins – to reduce food waste going to landfills.
Long-life items – Lifetime guarantee kitchen equipment, LED light bulbs – to avoid throwing away broken objects.
That said, many zero waste swaps need no investment at all – like cutting up old sheets to make cleaning rags or using an old jam jar as a coffee cup – which is fine with us!
MT: What advice would you give to someone thinking about joining a zero-waste lifestyle?
A: Just start with a few changes, and you’ll soon start to see benefits and really enjoy the journey. Start with the Big 4 plastic reusables – plastic bottles, disposable coffee cups, plastic straws (reusable or none at all), and plastic shopping bags.
Then see if you can nail the “10 quick tips” on our website. Don’t do it all at once or you might feel overwhelmed!
Another great way to kickstart your journey is simply collecting the waste in your recycling bin over a month. Pretty soon, you’ll know where your waste impact is and you can make changes accordingly!
MT: How are social media important to the success of your business?
A: Social media is important for any online business. Not only does it help with branding and publicity, but you can also directly speak to your community and find out what they need.
Despite all the negatives of SM, it’s certainly helped spread the message about waste and plastic pollution and created real change!
MT: What are the next steps for Kempii?
A: World domination! (just kidding). Our website is only a year old, so we are still new – but we certainly hope to continue to grow and inspire as many people as possible!
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